The Dallas Mavericks have been left holding the bag this free agency as they saw their second-best player, Jalen Brunson, walk for nothing to the New York Knicks. The Mavs developed Brunston to average 20 points in the playoffs after being a second-round pick in the same draft class as Luka Doncic.
Brunson was promised a bigger role, was offered more money, and gets to be with his father, who is an assistant coach with the New York Knicks. The loss has devastated Mavericks fans online, especially with the tampering allegations against the Knicks. Mark Cuban isn't bothered by the same, expecting the players on the team to replace Brunson's scoring and not caring about the possible tampering.
Cuban was asked about the tampering and gave a level-headed response about how business is done in the NBA and if anyone wants to punish the Knicks, it needs to be the league office.
"No they were perfect, I saw nothing wrong at all, that’s just the business, that’s just the way it works. That’s not my job to determine, that’s up to the NBA, it is what it is, it's done. I wish Jalen the best, he's a great guy. It'd be one thing if I didn't like him but he really is a good good guy with a heart of gold. I wish him nothing but the best. Our team changed and we've gotten a lot bigger and we're gonna be able to score. We lost Jalen at 17 a game but we picked up Timmy (Tim Hardaway Jr.) at 17-18 a game and Christian Wood with 17-18-19 a game."
Cuban understands that players are acquired by skirting the line of tampering in the NBA, so he knows that free agency usually goes like this. The NBA fining the Knicks for tampering won't bring Brunson back to the Mavs, so there is no reason for the Mavs to push for tampering charges to be brought against the team.
Hopefully, the additions of Christian Wood and JaVale McGee can be enough to supplement Luka next season, as Brunson's loss may leave a hole in the team that can't be filled easily.